It’s been an eventful 2014!

There’ve been ups and downs, a lot of life changes and a lot of travelling. I’m ending the year on a high with the people who’ve stuck by me during the fun times and the low, both those who are my friends IRL and those who are just a play button away. Whatever my mood and wherever I’ve been this year the following artists have got me through it with their poetry and song, if they’d only answer my calls I’d buy them a drink and thank them for it. These are the albums that will forever remind me of this incredible, sad, difficult, at times lonely, but mostly amazing 2014.

1. Beyoncé

Beyonce: December 13, 2013

Beyoncé has a song for every emotion and for every life process. Wherever my head has been this year she’s been there for me. Yeah, I’m serious. I’ve loved Beyoncé since I saw her at Glastonbury 2011 and there was definitely a strong like before that. Her Beyoncé album actually came out at the end of 2013 but according to my rules, she’s still allowed in my ‘best music of 2014’. Her whole back catalogue has been one of the few that’s survived all the culls on my iPhone over the last six months of travelling. I particularly enjoy Pretty Hurts and Drunk in Love. Loud. And I Miss You (given the years events) naturally followed by Best You Never Had (thanks to the same) is also a good combination. Whatever you think of Beyoncé, I think she’s great. Get me on karaoke, with my friend Fiona, some Beyoncé on the playlist and you’ll never get us out. Just ask Lucky Voice in Angel, London. I wouldn’t say you know me though…

“What’s my aspiration in life… my aspiration? To be… happy.” – Pretty Hurts

2. Asgeir

In the Silence: 27 January 2014

I first saw Asgeir at Latitude Festival in July this year: the line up was without a doubt one of the best I’ve ever seen. Before I went I was a bit of a geek and worked my way through every artist to listen to them on YouTube, as soon as I heard Asgeir I knew he was well up there on my list of artists I had to see.

I love his lyrics, the energy that comes across in the music and the electronic sound. He’s now one of the most successful artists to come from Iceland. I reckon I’ve listened to this album on average every second day since I saw him, in fact, according to my iTunes counter I’ve listened to it 159 times. Wow! He’s playing in Tokyo when I’m there but the ticket process is so complicated I’m just going to go down and try and get in.

“Home, I’m making my way home. My mind’s already there” – Home

3. James Vincent

Post Tropical: January 21 2014

Love James Vincent. He’s another one that’s managed to stay on my playlist for the whole year. I saw him at Coachella Festival in April and didn’t really get what I wanted from his live performance, maybe because I’d just split up from my boyfriend about two days before, but when I saw him at Latitude and I was stood right at the front he was in incredible. I love Don’t Eat, loud, although that’s not off Post Tropical. Glacier is my favourite from his new one. HIs version of Higher Love will always remind me of breaking up with my boyfriend and crying in the toilets at work, but finally, 8 months later, I’ve just enjoyed a little playback and remembered the good times before.

“Something is alive, somewhere underneath. Caught between the real and the fake. I don’t want to fit, there and has been found.” – Glacier 

4. Sohn

Tempest: April 8 2014

Again, another excellent artist I picked up from Latitude Festival. In fact I Tweeted him at Latitude to tell him he looked like Jesse Breaking Bad and he Tweeted back – best friends. Could’ve been something there. His lyrics are another delight for the ears. I listen to him to pass the time on journeys, to block out people in hostel rooms, to help me sleep and just to get some sense on the world. I love the dreamy, trippy sound he has. Watching him at Latitude was inspiring: I’ve never seen anyone so into their work as he was. Sounds cheesy but when he was playing Lessons, it was like he was actually part of the music, as if he was one of the sound waves coming out of the keyboard he was playing.

“We were formed from a… small set of emotions overground. Nothing here but a wheel set in motion” – Veto.

5. Little Mix

Salute: November 8 2013

An odd choice you may think but I couldn’t get enough of these girls for the first six months of the year. I’ve since moved on but their supporting words full of girl power and positivity will always hold a special place in my heart. Their lyrics may have reduced me to almost tears at some points but they also bought me back to life (I was weak with confusion: don’t judge me). One of my friends, so disgusted by the solace I found in Little Mix, was absolutely appalled when I played the album at her hen party and at least two other people joined in with the words too. Made me very happy. I feel like their Towers song pretty much summed up my relationship.

“Once we were made like towers
Everything could have been ours
But you left it too late now my heart feels nothing, nothing at all” – Towers

6. Glass Animals

Zaba, September 6 2014 (confused, I had it in May?)

Another band from Latitude! I loved them before but these guys were brilliant live. One of the best sets I’ve seen this year in fact with everyone in the tent giving all their effort. Love the gooey feel to their sound, which is also the name of one of their songs. Love that one so much I set my video of me in Caye Caulker, Belize, to it. I like to imagine Mr Soft when I hear them. I never really know what they’e talking about, but I like their musical sound.

“Right, my little pooh bear, wanna take a chance?
Wanna sip this smooth air, kick it in the sand” – Gooey.

7. Passenger

Whispers: June 6 2014

Ah you just can’t beat Passenger’s lyrics. Each song is like a little story. If ever you needed a song to stop smoking you should listen to Riding to New York and I’m also a big fan of Scare Away the Dark for inspiration too. I played the album to my mum who was wetting herself laughing at his little weedy voice, so now when I listen I find him funny too, so she kind of ruined the Magic. It’s still another good album for trying to sleep in hostels. Love a bit of Passenger story time. 

“Hate is a poison
Love is a remedy” – Coins in a Fountain

Song and band shout out

I’d also like to give a special shout out to Woman’s Hour, Phantogram, Banks, Future Islands, 2Bears and Rhye for their efforts too. Not quite good enough for my big list, but definite contenders for the year.

As for songs, there are just four that have really stood out for me in 2014, that I can recall.

Here For You: Gorgon City ft Laura Welsh

I went to school with Loz, as we called her. She’s been working towards being a singer for years so it was good to see her get into the charts with this collaboration. It’s not just that though, a few months ago the lyrics below seemed very poignant to my life, whenever I hear the song I’m reminded of a sad time that I’ve now moved on from.

“We all go through changes
Love in different places
That doesn’t mean that we have to part.”

Hideaway: Kiesza

Memories of good times with pretty much all my girl friends, especially in Budapest and Paris. When we were wilting before Sziget Festival every day we’d put this on just before we left the flat and suddenly felt well up for it again. The video for this is one of the best I’ve ever seen, if you’ve never seen it, you need to click below.

Do It Again: Royksopp and Robyn

Going crazy for dancing at Latitude Festival (again, sorry!) as Robyn went crazy on stage. The crowd here were brilliant.

Right Here: Jess Glynn

I used to listen to this loud in my earphones at work whenever I needed a pick me up. And it does exactly the same for me now.

Excited to see what 2015 has in store for my ears!

Have I left any important additions off this list?

How to Get Tickets for Liquid Room in Tokyo
Alternative Travel Destinations for 2015
tagged in albums, Music